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Living in Changsha

Changsha is the capital city of Hunan province, as well as the centre of the province for politics, economy, culture, education, transportation, finance, business and information.

5It occupies an area of 11,816, and has a population of around 8 million. Surrounding the city are the beautiful Yuelu, Dawei and Weishan mountains, and the Xiangjiang river runs from north to south. As a famous ancient city with a history spanning 3,500 years, Changsha is among the first group of Chinese cultural and historical cities open to tourists, and was listed in China's top 10 ecological, liveable and leisure cities. The Hunan cuisine, Hunan embroidery and Hunan opera are all notable local specialties.

Famous historical sites include the Mawangdui Tomb, the Yuelu Academy, the Kaifu Temple and the Tianxin Pavilion. Changsha has been associated with many great figures through out the history of China, such as the famous patriotic poet Qu Yuan, Jia Yi, a Chinese writer, poet and politician of the Western Han dynasty, and the founding fathers of People Republic of China, Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi. Additionally, it’s thought to be the birthplace of ancient Chu Xiang culture and modern revolution.

Today, Changsha is an open and energetic city which enjoys rapid economic growth, and is attracting more and more domestic and overseas visitors.

Key facts / Changsha in numbers

  • Population: 8M+ (2017)
  • Area: 11,816 square km
  • Location: South Central of China
  • Currency: Chinese Yuan (1 GBP=8.83 CNY; 1 USD=6.28 CNY; 1 Euro= 7.73 CNY, April 2018)
  • GDP: CNY 1.02 trillion/GBP 116 Billion (2018)
  • Language: Mandarin, Hunan Dialect
  • Time Zone: GMT+8
  • Temperature: Subtropical monsoon climate (Köppen Cfa), distinct 4 seasons, annual average 17.9 degree

Dr. Mohsen Jaafarnia,
Assistant Professor,
School of Design

I am teaching product design at School of Design, Hunan University. It is my pleasure to be engaged by Chinese Culture, here is unlike any of my visits to other countries. Apart from my teaching and research I am learning Chinese music here.
City Distance By Flight By Train
Shanghai 1091km 1H40M 4H30M
Beijing 1472km 2H20M 5H40M
Guangzhou 677km 1H20M 2H20M
Hong Kong 836km 1H35M 4H


Changsha has a subtropical humid monsoon climate, a mild climate, abundant rainfall, and rain and heat, across four distinct seasons. Spring brings a change in temperature, followed by early summer rain, then autumn’s high temperatures before a long, cold winter.

The average urban temperature is 17.9 ℃, while the average annual precipitation is 932.8 mm.
January is the coldest month on average, with temperatures from 4.4℃-5.1 ℃.


Changsha has significant cultural heritages, with a history that can be traced back to 1,600 years BC. In 1982, Changsha City was named the first national ‘historical and cultural city’.

The specialities of the area are called the ‘Changsha Unique Three’, namely embroidery, palm knitting and chrysanthemum stone. Hunan cuisine is part of a long history of the Han Chinese, as early as 200BC. Hunan cuisine is famous for well selected ingredients, varied tastes, and cooking methods such as stewing, waxing, steaming and frying. Changsha is also famous for its media industry. The Hunan Broadcasting System enjoys a worldwide reputation. It is one of the UNESCO City of Media Arts. Changsha is a particularly refreshing place to live no matter you are seeking for a fast pace or a leisure lifestyle.

Tourist spots in Changsha include the Yuelu Mountain, the Orange Island tourist area, Dawei Mountain National Forest Park, Hunan Museum, Kaifu Temple among many others. In recent years, Changsha has been continuously selected as China's ‘Top Ten leisure liveable eco-city’.


International Schools including Lushan International Experimental School, Changsha WES Academy provide high quality international education to children from three years old, all the way up to pre-university courses.

High schools include Changjun High School of Changsha, Yali Middle School, The First Middle school in Changsha, as well as The High School Attached to Hunan Normal University ranked high in list among China’s high schools, with all-round education and varied opportunities available to their students.